What I’ve learned in my first week of living in Ecuador

1. The men are extremely machismo (hola bonita! que hermosa!) and persistent

2. Never fall asleep on a bus, or leave your backpack in-between your legs or under the seat. It will be cut open and things will be stolen.

3. No gracias, No gracias, No gracias – say that to all the street vendors

4. Say NO next time your co-worker wants to tell you a rape or robbery story

the city of quito with the pichincha mountains backdrop

5. Eat with your purse in your lap, never leave it unattended

6. PUSH your way onto the crowded bus despite the “enter” and “exit” doors

7. Choclo (Andean corn) is a popular topping on pizza – EW! Nasty!

8. Don’t feed the dogs, someone else will

9. Cars have the right away, not people, there are no rules of the road, or speed limits

10. Guinea Pig is a delicacy to eat

11. To have a hot shower, you have to use electricity … electric showers can catch on fire

12. It is almost impossible to get a full night’s sleep with horns, whistles, dogs barking outside

13. Never carry more than $20 USD with you because no one will know how to break it

14. Don’t shower at the same time as your roommates because the power will shutdown

15. You never know when your favorite shop or store is open because people work to live and don’t live to work, which means they decide to open and close when they want to

exploring the cloud forest in mindo, ecuador

16. There is no sense of time here, unless you create it. (i.e. buses leave when they want)

17. No convenience exists. You have to shop around to find everything you are looking for

18. The parks present an escape for everyone

19. The altitude makes even a fit person breathe harder with a simple uphill climb

20. Despite Ecuador exporting good coffee, the coffee here is not that amazing, really watery

21. The smoking indoors ban does not exist here, sadly

22. Always remember “agua sin gas” so you don’t receive a bottle of non-flavored, carbonated tasting water. I think the U.S. is the only country that does not like gaseous water.

23. Do.Not.Flush.Toilet.Paper.Down.The.Toilet.

24. Milk and other random items come in bags or a box-like container, not in jugs.

25. Despite all the horror stories, there are extremely nice and friendly Ecuadorians



Filed under Ecuador, Facts, Food, Global, International, Latin America // South America, Tips, Travel, Worldwide

18 responses to “What I’ve learned in my first week of living in Ecuador

  1. good list! i love making these kinds of lists. they help me process and it’s so fun to go back and read these catalogues of your early experiences.

    can you elaborate on the shower situation?

    also, the irish put sweet corn on their pizzas, too. never got used to that!

    • To have a HOT shower they use electricity…I don’t know how it works…all I know is there is a switch for Frio (cold) or Caliente (hot) and you have to pick your setting…and we always associate electricity and water as bad, you know? And my roommate says her shower has caught on fire twice.

      • i see! i’ve noticed that type of shower set up in several places before. in a lot of places in europe and asia, they have these electricity boxes that you have to switch on using a string or rope and then pick your hotness setting. it heats the water as you use it, rather than constantly storing and heating water, which is more environmentally friendly.

        but yeah, i suppose if the actual heater is shoddy then it could be incredibly dangerous! hehe. be careful!

  2. Michael

    What a great post, you’re really learning a ton. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thulasi

    Loved your list. I can definitely relate to at least 6, 8, 9, 12 because it’s the same thing in India. =D

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  5. Kelsey

    Hello!! I keep meaning to write you and then I keep forgetting. I’m so proud of you for moving to Ecuador and working on your dream of being a travel writer! I knew you would do it πŸ™‚ Good luck, and have lots of fun. I’ll keep reading!

    – kelsey hazlewood

  6. Kelsey

    Oh just livin the dream too! πŸ˜‰ I’m the producer at a photography/videography studio. (a real studio, not like senior portraits). It’s pretty freaking cool!

  7. Brock

    Pretty good list! I realized most of those things when I was down there too, though I never had trouble sleeping due to noise. A good coffee shop is The Magic Bean, I think it is called. I’m not a coffee connoisseur myself, but the others I was down there with thought it was a really good place. I think it is actually in that travel guide book I gave you.

  8. Patrick

    I have lived in Quito for over 16 years, I am happy to help with any questions you might have about the country. Patrick- bullock0005@yahoo.com

  9. Can’t wait to hear more about your time in Ecuador!

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